tv BBC World News PBS May 8, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
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>> hello and welcome to "new state." -- "newsday." >> the airline plot and a double agent. the would-be bomber was working for the cia. kofi annan warned that syria could be plunged into full the skill civil war if the latest peace plan fails. >> as time runs out to form a coalition in greece, the leader of the left appeals to other parties to abandoned austerity. nine men in the north of england have been found guilty of running a child sex ring. it is 9 in the morning in singapore. >> a of broadcasting to viewers on pbs in america and around the world. welcome to newsday.
reports from the united states say the man at the heart of the latest underwear bomb plot, which the u.s. and its allies say they foiled, was a double agent. u.s. officials are quoted as saying the attacker was working for the cia and saudi intelligence when he was given the bomb. he then passed the device to the americans. the washington correspondents give us more details. >> the would-be bomber, according to reports in u.s. media citing american officials, was a double agent. the way this is described is that the saudi intelligence agency recruited this man, sent him to yemen with the task of convincing al qaeda in the arabian peninsula that he was prepared to blow up himself and a u.s.-bound aircraft.
he won the terror cell's trust, and they gave him this device to take with him to blow up a plane. but instead he took the underwear bomb, which is what the officials say it was, to a third country. then it passes immediately into the hands of the cia. >> officials are describing this as a custom-fit device, more complicated and sophisticated than previously thought. >> you remember the young nigerian man who tried to blow himself up using an underwear bomb on a plane on christmas day, 2009. he failed. this device is described as a kind of upgrade of that bomb. it reportedly had two forms of the nation, a device using a different type of chemical. it is still being examined by
the fbi. the officials are saying it is the kind of custom-fit device, meaning that even if somebody was subjected to a detailed security pat down at an airport checkpoint, it would be very difficult to detect this device. it is described as sophisticated. >> given the level of collaboration with saudi america -- with saudi arabia's intelligence agency, how did this take place? >> the cia, the saudis, and possibly other western intelligence agencies were involved in this operation, which unfolded after the -- over the past month or so. we do not know precisely when he got out of yemen. the operation seems to have yielded another success, as the u.s. would see it. it led to intelligence which enabled the americans over the weekend to target a senior al
qaeda operative wanted in connection with the bombing 12 years ago. he is on the fbi's most wanted list. he was killed by a drone strike on sunday. it was information gleaned by the double agent that led to the fatal drone strike. >> steve kingston reporting. the united nations special envoy has warned the current peace plan for syria may be the last stop to avoid civil war. he says he has lost hope it will work. thousands of u.n. monitors must be deployed. here is our u.n. correspondent. >> the u.n. monitoring operation is in full swing. here it is an underlying -- unloading equipment in damascus for what may be their toughest mission yet. they are meant to police a ceasefire which does not exist. their presence has brought, in
places, but nearly one month on, violence continues at unacceptable levels, as this amateur footage shows in the city of homs. >> the u.n. supervision is the only remaining chance to stabilize the country. i am sure i am not telling you and the secret when i tell you there was a profound concern that the country could otherwise descend into full civil war. the implications of that are frightening. we cannot allow that to happen. >> the violence seems to be shifting rather than stopping -- less showing, but more torture and more arrests. that is what these images appear to show. there has also been a rise in guerrilla attacks by the opposition.
that is why the monitors are so important. kofi annan says they have made some difference, and will make more by the time the full 300 arrive at the end of the month. he has also warned that his plan might fail, and appealed to the government and the rebels to hold their fire, for the sake of the suffering people. bbc news at the united nations in new york. >> joining me from washington is a woman who once served as the u.s. ambassador to the united nations under president bill clinton, and who also worked alongside kofi annan. thank you for joining us. listening to kofi annan there, do you think this is a desperate plea from him? >> he is very calm, the world's best diplomat. it is a clear alarm saying that it may not work.
it is a very tense situation. there is now a civil war. unless stronger measures are taken, this will become a full- blown civil war. >> where do we go from here? if the cease-fire does not work? what do you envision happening next? >> there are several other options. one is a full-scale civil war. another is a coalition of the willing keeping the peace. what kofi annan is saying, which we should listen to very carefully, is that this is on the principles of failing because the regime itself is not cooperating and is not living up to its peace plan, and urging the international community to push much harder to try to get him to do that. we are going to have to put some force to back ups the diplomacy
to get the regime to realize the game is up, and we are very far away from that point. >> are you talking about military intervention? >> my view is what you need is a coalition of the willing to protect the cities, to stop the killing. they may have to stay there for quite some time before you end up having this regime depart from power. it needs to be coupled with tougher sanctions. we need to get russia and china more involved. and the arab league needs to take a lead. this is their region. the united states should not be in the lead on this. kofi annan needs more to send a tougher message to the regime that this cannot continue. >> six months ago, these same conversations were taking place. stiffer sanctions to be imposed on the regime, no talk of military intervention. that has not changed.
still the situation is gravely dangerous. it is precarious on the ground. with all of that not changing in the last six months, bashar al- assad has bought time. >> he is planning a shrewd game and we should not be caught by it. kofi annan knows the game he is playing. this is a man who has dealt with the genocide throughout the 90's in bosnia, rwanda. he has gone head-to-head with dictators. he knows what is going on. his message is clear. he needs help, or we will face dire consequences in syria. i hope the world listens to him. >> you think this peace plan will ultimately work? >> yes. >> grateful for your time. thank you for joining us. fallout from the greek election continues, affecting the era now. -- the euro now. >> there are concerns after the
election in greece of the country without a government. the leader of a left-wing party which opposes austerity measures has been given three days to form a coalition government. if the coalition is not formed, fresh elections will have to be called. we report from athens. >> another long day of uncertainty ending, they headed home, still with no government, still clear this election had delivered a resounding message. >> i think the right thing to do -- >> not to pay the debt of all? >> yes. not at all. >> this man may be taking greece in that direction. the anti bailout leader on the left has been asked to form a coalition government. he probably will not manage, but his challenge to the european
union is clear. >> the people have voted to tear up the bailout. our national debt should be internationally audited. we should hold off paying it back. we demand a fair solution. >> it is unclear whether brussels or berlin is putting direct pressure on the politicians. both have said athens has to stick to the terms of its bailout deal, yet it is hard to see how any government could be formed on that or any other basis. there are days of uncertainty ahead. they will do nothing to, -- to calm the nurse in the eurozone. a commemoration of the fallen of world war ii. the french president-elect has vowed to take europe in a different direction. the work of the public cuts that greece is so wary of. more growth. that will not help athens in meeting the immediate terms of
its bailout. some suggest that without a leader there is a risk that greece could sleepwalk out of the euro. >> some kind of accident could happen, not having the political leadership to keep greece within the eurozone. but we have to remember the big picture. the great majority of the people and the political powers, political parties -- they are firmly pro-european and pro-0. >> perhaps that will be enough. but in greece, power shift slowly, and they have only weeks to form a government before their next bailout reforms have to be implemented. bbc news, athens. >> at least two security officials have been killed after an attack on the opposite of the libyan prime minister in the capital of tripoli. the whereabouts of the prime minister are unknown. his media adviser said he was
safe, along with the people inside the building. our correspondent has said the government believes the former rebel's claims were legitimate, but the use of weapons was unacceptable. >> the government spokesman said that initially it started in the morning, and a group of young men had come who had, as he puts it, a legitimate demands. they were asking about the stipends, a scheme of payments introduced by the government earlier this year. it was suspended due to corruption claims. also about the treatment of the war wounded from the conflict with gaddafi last year. two other demands about the compensation for those imprisoned under the gaddafi regime and the missing from the conflict -- he said they were legitimate demands. however, the situation soon erupted into chaos. some 200 men arrived at the
scene. some were armed with rocket launchers at the back of their truck, as well as ak-47s. they opened fire as they tried to storm the building. he described these demands as legitimate, but said that they cannot be met with a gun. he said that was unacceptable and the government would investigate what happened. >> our reporter in tripoli. we are live from singapore and london. still to come, parliament prepares for the queen's speech. the government outlined its plans to get the u.k. economy back on track. >> and we hear the remarkable story of a woman who has completed the london marathon 16 days after the race began. let us look at the stories making headlines in newspapers around the world.
greece stays on the "financial times "a front page as the left tries to form a coalition government and demands an end to what it calls "barbara's austerity plans." in israel, the international herald tribune reports on a surprising deal between prime minister netanyahu and the opposition party, avoiding the need for early elections. the shareholders spring dominates "the guardian." there are shareholder revolts over and accepted pay deals amid lackluster performance. the south china morning post reports on escalating tension between china and the philippines in a month-long confrontation over disputed territory in the south china sea. i can tell you there is a tribute to the person who completed the london marathon after 16 days.
>> this is "newsday." >> a reminder of the headlines this hour. the would-be suicide attacks in the former underwear bomb plot was in fact a double agent. >> kofi annan tells the u.n. security council the syrian peace plan may be the last chance to avoid civil war. >> nine men in britain have been convicted of sexually exploiting teenage girls in greater manchester. the abuse was carried out by asian men on white girls. police insist the ruling was not racially motivated. >> these are some of the nine men who worked together to break and sexually assault young girls, luring them with alcohol, cigarettes, and food. the circle of men abused the girls on a terrible scale, sometimes trafficking them around the north of england.
the abuse happened on the streets and in taxes and takeaways nearby. >> i contemn them -- condemn them from the highest level. these are the most vulnerable in our society, and they have been preyed upon by adults who should know better. >> some of the girls have been spending time at this tick away, which is now under new ownership, and at this fast food parlor nearby. there were given alcohol and at least one was raped in an upstairs room. >> i think what they did to me was evil. >> this girl, who cannot be identified, was 15 when the abuse began. >> it was self esteem, and by the end of it i had no emotion whatsoever. i was used to being abused daily. it was many in a day. >> every day? >> sometimes.
>> the trial attracted the attention of far-right groups, who protested that the offenders were all asian and the victims' white. two asian barristers were threatened outside court and withdrew from the case. whether this was racially motivated has been controversial. the police a race has no bearing on it, but others disagree. >> on the street, taxi drivers and takeaways -- it is predominantly asian men. my understanding is that other forms of sexual exploitation like online grooming involves different backgrounds and different ethnicities. >> members of the muslim community contend the -- condemned the abuse and say it is important for the community to work together. >> sexual exploitation goes beyond any segment of any community. it is not a local issue. it is an international -- a global phenomenon.
in that sense, it is something that should concern everybody. >> the police and the crown prosecution service apologized to a victim who told officers what was happening in 2008. she was not protected. the abuse continued, and there was no prosecution at the time. teen-age girls we spoke to said they were all aware of the issue of child sexual exploitation. that will be welcomed by the abuse victims, who said they do not want anyone else to suffer as they did. >> the queen addresses parliament on wednesday, where she will set up the program of legislation for the next year. taking part in the proceedings will be the speaker of the house of commons. our correspondent has been to meet him for a tour of his official rooms inside the palace of westminster. >> welcome to speakers house, complete with riverside views and features. it must be one of the most
envied addresses in central london. >> there is another longstanding convention. >> bizarrely, tucked in one corner is a bed. in theory, it is used by monarchs the night before their correlation. -- their coronation. >> it is not an en-suite bedroom. from feeling it, it is more to be looked up and slept in. it looks grim and is magnificent, but i am not sure it would be comfortable. >> his most high-profile job is to referee the weekly prime minister's question time. >> , down. -- calm down. >> it is widely admired, but has also been criticized for being
testosterone-fuel. >> it is a macho atmosphere. i would say i think the female members are perfectly well able to fend for themselves. of course, we are never going to be a group of trappist monks, nor should we be. there are displays of passion from time to time. it is a pity if people out there feel that we are setting a bad example. i do get quite a lot of the actors from people saying, "i brought my children and was not impressed by the behavior." i think we have to keep it within some sort of boundary. >> following the scandal over mp expenses, he is keen to stress he does not live in these grand apartments himself. but tradition dictates each speaker gets to sit for a portrait. >> i have an action portrait, which is a bit different from that of my predecessors. each of us has to go about it in his or her own way.
that is what i have done. >> not a bad way to put a personal stamp on these very four more rooms. bbc news, westminster. >> now to an amazing story of perseverance. 16 days after the beginning of the london marathon, a woman paralyzed from the chest down has crossed the finish line. she lost her legs after a horse riding accident. thanks to a special bionics suit, she completed the entire course. >> she is all smiles as she steps of the finishing line of the london marathon. but it was only minutes before the scale of her achievement hit home. despite being paralyzed from the chest down, she became the first person to walk the 26.2 mile route using the world's first bionic suit. it has taken 16 days to complete
the course and it has been an incredible journey. >> there has been pavement, slopes, hills. i was sore and tired, and had to keep going. knowing each step you take you are closer to the finish line, i kept marching forward. >> she had been a professional event writer, but an accident in 2007 broke her neck and back, changing her life forever. she raised 43,000 pounds to buy the bionic suit. before starting the marathon, she had walked less than a mile in it. she set off with 36,000 other competitors. her journey began on april 22. by the end of day one, she had walked 2 miles. by the third of may, supported by her husband, she had reached canary wharf. today, she walked the last mile of an incredible journey. >> you have picked up so many admirers.
what hasn't meant to you? >> it has meant everything. without everyone else, i would not be doing this. it is a huge thing. >> from this point, there are only about 300 yards before she reaches the finishing line. they cannot give her a medal because according to marathon roles she had to finish on the day. but runners who completed the course donated their medals to her. she has raised more than 80,000 pounds to fund injury research and has tested the bionic suit to its limit. the best prize? a kiss from her daughter. >> an inspirational story. bestselling children's author maurice sendak has died at the age of 83. he became famous in 1963 with his classic book "where the wild
things are." the book was initially controversial. they said its images were too scary. but it sold more than 19 million copies. it was made into an opera and a hollywood film. google has been granted permission to test driver-less cars in america. the license was approved by the state of nevada after a test drive on the strip. the car has already covered more than 225 kilometers. the only accident was a small bump from a car behind a traffic light. radio cameras help the car to see other traffic, cyclists, and pedestrians. you have been watching "newsday." >> a reminder of our main news this hour. a report from the united states says the man at the heart of the latest underwear bomb plot was a double agent. we have more to come. headlines next. stay with us.
>> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended, global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you?